Volume 93, Issue 6
Friday, June 18, 1999
Maurice "The Rocket" Richard changed the face of hockey in Canada and sparked one of the most infamous moments in Quebec history.
He was a quick young player and a highly touted prospect for the Montreal Canadiens. He was also the first player in league history to score 50 goals in 50 games in 1945. However, despite his talent, he was a tough player with a short fuse.
During a game in Boston in March of 1955, Richard struck an official during a brawl between the Canadiens and the Boston Bruins. Clarence Campbell, National Hockey League president, suspended Richard for the remainder of the season and the play-offs, infuriating.
During the following game in Montreal, the stubborn Campbell took his seat in the stands. After numerous threats to the heavily guarded Campbell, a smoke bomb was thrown at him which disrupted the game and began a fight in the stands.
The fans were in a riotous mood that night and it spilled out onto the streets of the city. In protest of Richard's suspension, fans were reported turning over police cars, setting fires and engaging street fights.
Richard always played with a spark in his eye but on this night, it was the fans who saw red.
June 1994 will go down in history in Vancouver. After battling hard throughout the play-offs, the Vancouver Canucks lost game seven of the Stanley Cup finals to the New York Rangers.
The loss was a tough one and due to the anger of the fans, a riot was sparked outside the Pacific Coliseum home rink to the Canucks where the game was being shown on the scoreboard.
After leaving the stadium, disgruntled fans turned over cars and set fire to garbage cans while looting stores.
A strange aspect of the riot was it occurred in the losing team's city, even though the action happened across the continent.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999